WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork) — The controversial deal to put the brakes on Iran’s nuclear program has united Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill on steps to take if the pact falls apart.
This as the Obama administration is defending its actions, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported Monday.
The White House is on the defensive over its deal with Iran. Secretary of State John Kerry stepped up his rhetoric in the face of bipartisan congressional attack.
“They say it’s peaceful. We say, OK, if you say it’s peaceful prove it’s peaceful,” Kerry said.
Kerry was trying to assuage the concerns on both sides of the aisle that Iran is a country that cannot be trusted.
“The deal with Iran is dangerous. It brings Iran close to becoming a nuclear power,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said.
With Congress in recess for Thanksgiving, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle made it clear they are willing to come together and impose new sanctions if Iran falters.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the pact “makes it more likely that Democrats and Republicans will join together and pass additional sanctions.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he is concerned the agreement “is a dangerous step that degrades our pressure on the Iranian regime without demonstrable actions on Iran’s part to end its pursuit of nuclear weapons capability.”
Iran gets $7 billion in financial relief, mostly through lifted restrictions on oil sales. In exchange it must destroy its stockpile of weapons-grade uranium, restrict production of nuclear fuel and give inspectors daily access to select nuclear facilities.
The Heritage Foundation’s James Carafano said the deal doesn’t have enough teeth, and the United States will have a hard time reversing course if Iran doesn’t live up to its end of the bargain.
“If you look it’s just like the North Korean negotiating strategy, which eventually ended up with the North Koreans getting the bomb,” Carafano said.
There is so much concern that Congress is thinking of imposing tougher sanctions when it returns to Washington on Dec. 9.
Meanwhile, the Israelis are sending a representative to the United States to discuss what happens next. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the deal is a “historic mistake.”
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